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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-24-2009, 03:59 AM Thread Starter
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Feedback on Proposed Changes to SA Policies

Time for some clarity on service animal policies
Friday, October 23, 2009 12:16 AM PDT
Oct. 23 Daily News editorial

The U.S. Department of Justice this month undertook a review of what constitutes a service animal under the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, with an eye toward tightening the guidelines.

The prospect of new, tighter guidelines will not sit well with many people with disabilities, such as the Shelton man featured in a Seattle Times article this week with the boa constrictor that alerts him to oncoming seizures. But private businesses, as well as county and city officials, would welcome more clarity with regard what is and is not considered a service animal under this federal law.

To read this article in full --> Artical Link

TJ aka Theresa A. Jennings
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-24-2009, 04:03 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Feedback on Proposed Changes to SA Policies

New service animal rules due this year
Published: Oct. 20, 2009 at 1:00 AM

Order reprintsSEATTLE, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- U.S. officials say they anticipate new guidelines will be issued before the end of the year on what constitutes a service animal under federal disability law.

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 protects accessibility rights for disabled people with service animals but the definition of service animal has become somewhat controversial. In Washington state, for example, Daniel Greene's constant companion is a boa constrictor that gives him a slight squeeze when it senses he is about to have a seizure, The Seattle Times reported.

Greene, 46, says he has been asked to leave business establishments because of the snake, which is almost 5 feet long.

To Read More --> Article Link

TJ aka Theresa A. Jennings
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-24-2009, 05:42 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Feedback on Proposed Changes to SA Policies

You may have seen the recent special on TV about Monkey Babies in which Debby and Richard were featured. She has also been in the news quite a bit concerning Richard her "service monkey" who goes into restaurants and sits in high chairs and also helps her drive a car by turning on the signals so she knows when to turn. (Yes, she even said that in court and it is in the court records.)

********************

Judge rules monkey isn't a service animal
by Kristin Nelson, KY3 News

Story Published: Oct 22, 2009 at 10:24 PM CDT

SPRINGFIELD -- Debby Rose sued the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, CoxHealth Systems and Wal-Mart in 2006 for refusing to recognize her monkey as a service animal. A federal judge ruled against Rose and went as far as to say she didn't need a service animal at all, rejecting her claim that she even has a disability.

"I'm devastated, I'm devastated," said Rose.

Rose doesn't understand why the judge denied her well dressed, well groomed and well behaved Bonnet Macaque monkey, Richard, as a service animal.

To read more --> Article Link


And taken directly from Court Document
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
SOUTHERN DIVISION
DEBBY ROSE, )
)
Plaintiff, )
)
v. ) Case No. 6:08-CV-03292-RED
)
SPRINGFIELD-GREENE COUNTY )
HEALTH DEPARTMENT, )
COX HEALTH SYSTEMS, and )
WAL-MART SUPERCENTER, )

Quote:
Plaintiff’s physician stated during his deposition that his agoraphobia diagnosis was primarily based upon Plaintiff’s own subjective complaints. When asked what symptoms Plaintiff displayed that led him to believe Plaintiff had agoraphobia, Plaintiff’s physician stated “once again, she – she – she told me symptoms. She didn’t display anything.”

and

Though Plaintiff often cites to her physician’s testimony as support that her monkey is a service animal, her doctor actually testified that he has no experience with service animals, does not know the definition of service animal, and is unable to state whether the monkey would qualify under the ADA.

*****************************

And yet this same doctor gave her a "Doctor's Note" that she then used to demand Public Access Rights. This is why people who claim they have a note/prescription from their doctor as their sole source of documentation may be in for some trouble if they ever have to prove their animal's status as a service animal.

If you watch the video the newscaster is saying that the State says that Richard must be in the car for Debby to drive. And that is based on .... her having a Doctor's Note.

All three newspeople are clueless - their conclusion is that now Richard is not considered a service animal in Debby's home county but is okay in other counties. Wrong, the decision was handed down by a Federal judge.

Also in the video she shows a card stating that Richard is a service animal. That card was issued by SARA, the Internet organization that would send anyone a card for $$ and the owner stating that they believe their animal fit the guidelines to be a service animal. Certification was done sight unseen.

These articles are showing the trend of abuse that is having a huge impact on the Service Dog community and that is why I have posted them here. This is why there has been such a clamor to the DOJ to come out and redefine service aniamls and their tasks.

TJ aka Theresa A. Jennings
Pyro vom Wildhaus aka Kaleb ~S.T.A.R.~
Family Companion, Non-Profit Mascot, In-Home Service Dog


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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-24-2009, 10:56 AM
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Re: Feedback on Proposed Changes to SA Policies

Sounds a little flakey to me.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-24-2009, 02:49 PM
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Re: Feedback on Proposed Changes to SA Policies

Thanks for posting this, I saw her on another show, can't recall the name of it but the sub title was obsessed with my pet.
I was wondering how her lawsuit came out.

Dante - March 2004
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-24-2009, 06:23 PM
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Re: Feedback on Proposed Changes to SA Policies

Thanks for the info, TJ!

Victoria & Jedi ITD CGC
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-24-2009, 08:13 PM
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Re: Feedback on Proposed Changes to SA Policies

Glad that you're posting updates, TJ.

It's a tough situation. On one hand, I doubt that any of us want to deal with more regulations. But on the other hand, the "cheaters" are creating problems that can't be easily dealt with the current system.

I've spent the last six months filling out more forms than I've probably done in my entire life up to now. I applied for Social Security Disability, Supplemental Security Income, Adult Public Assistance, Medicaid, Housing Assistance, etc. I've hated doing it but it's part of dealing with being disabled and trying to survive. If the government decided to regulate service animals more stringently and required some documentation, I'd do it.

If a person is truly physically disabled, I would expect that they'd be receiving some sort of treatment, medications, etc. and therefore would be in fairly recent contact with their doctor. If a person were truly mentally disabled, I would expect (hope, anyhow!) that they were receiving some sort of treatment through a psychiatrist, psychologist, etc. These people are licensed to deal with our disabilities. They have to fill out our forms if we want handicapped parking. Why couldn't there be an official form that they need to fill out in order to confirm a person's disability so that a service animal could be properly identified?

Yes, there would still be those who get around the system. But as someone said recently, "without a disability, you don't have a service animal". Most of those cheating the system don't seem to have a true disability. They simply want to have their animals with them. So to me, proving the disability would be the first step. That in itself might dissuade many of the fakes to stop.

I stopped by an agility trial this fall with my Service Dog (wearing her pack, as usual) and had someone come and talk to me about how to get their dog "certified" as a Service Dog. There was no disability - they simply wanted to take the dog everywhere with them, and be able to fly with the dog in the cabin. I explained to them that there needs to be a disability, and the daughter just didn't want to hear that. I think the mother understood it much better and hopefully will talk the daughter out of trying to pass her dog off as a SD, but we'll see. The Training Director of our club came over and asked me if I'd talked them out of the SD concept - I guess they've been talking about it at classes.

If there were an "official" disability form, these people wouldn't be able to say their dog is a SD. The form wouldn't have to say what a person's disability is, just that there is a valid disability and they are entitled to a Service Dog (or something like that). And I would hope that the application would not involve a fee - those who are disabled are often struggling enough with monthly expenses.

I am really glad that I have my little SD and am thankful that I was able (and capable) of doing her training myself. But most people are not that capable of self-training their dogs. I think that's why people are seeing so many poorly trained, poorly managed dogs that are supposedly SDs. A proper SD should have impecable manners in public and be of no danger to anyone.

Okay, enough rambling. Hope they get this all figured out in a way that cuts back on nonsense service animals and yet still allows us to have our SDs without too much difficulty.

Melanie and the gang in Alaska
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-24-2009, 08:41 PM
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Re: Feedback on Proposed Changes to SA Policies

a little off topic but I would never be able to have a monkey anywhere near me nevermind as a SA.when monkeys start documenting and maintain a service record like dogs have maybe OK.If monkey-supporters think this is a possibility/worthwhile start where seeing eye and others canines have.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-24-2009, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Feedback on Proposed Changes to SA Policies

I don't know if I've posted it here or not - that is the problem with doing SD on a couple of sites - but the original group that trained monkeys never intended that they be used anywhere but in the home. In fact that group is one of the big pushers to the DOJ to keep monkeys from going out into the public.

There has been so much written and on the news about Richard the monkey (and a very dear friend of mine lives up near that area) that it is unbelieveable that the monkey hasn't been banned from the public before. Debby his owner has warned people not to stare at Richard because it makes him nervous. Yeah, like who isn't going to stare at a monkey sitting in a highchair in a restaurant. When Richard gets nervous he has a tendency to start bitting himself. She also told the Judge (this also was in the court documents) that a task of Richard is to get between her and people if she starts feeling bad and put on a display to keep people away. I'm going to go and see if I can find that part to post here.

After all of this, I bet that doctor never writes another letter saying that someone should have a SA. Maybe this will be a wake-up call to other doctors to 1) make sure the person is in truth disabled based on reasons other than the person telling they are and 2) make sure they know what a SA is and what the qualifications are before they put a stamp of approval on an animal.

And I still would love to see a copy of that driver's license of hers that says she can only drive a car with her service monkey with her.





TJ aka Theresa A. Jennings
Pyro vom Wildhaus aka Kaleb ~S.T.A.R.~
Family Companion, Non-Profit Mascot, In-Home Service Dog


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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-24-2009, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Feedback on Proposed Changes to SA Policies

Okay I found what I was looking for.

Information from the Plaintiff (Debby Rose) to the Judge:

In her response to SGCHD’s interrogatories, Plaintiff provides more details regarding the monkey’s beneficial tasks, and alleges it performs the following: blocks people from getting too close in public places, “tolerat[es] ... a position for hours” so Plaintiff can focus without anxiety, brings Plaintiff to full awareness by performing tasks such as holding her hand or touching her face, sits on her lap for “as long as it takes to relieve the emotional overload,” gets his toothbrush to encourage her to get out of bed, brings the remote control to the TV or the cell phone if Plaintiff is not “functioning normally,” turns her turn signal in the car when she reaches her street to inform her it’s time to turn, the monkey can open the car door allegedly as an “escape strategy,” uses a “direct look with an open mouth” or a “gentle push” to alert strangers to stay away, and hugs Plaintiff to bring her anxiety level down.

Quote:
Quote: uses a “direct look with an open mouth” or a “gentle push” to alert strangers to stay away,
In other words the monkey gives a warning and shows it teeth ... which is in direct violation the requirement of an animal being safe around the public.

So here you are in a restaurant with a monkey wearing clothes, sitting in a highchair eating from the owner's plate and you can not stare or the monkey will begin bitting itself. If you approach the owner when the monkey doesn't want you to, it will bare its teeth. And she wonders why people complained!




TJ aka Theresa A. Jennings
Pyro vom Wildhaus aka Kaleb ~S.T.A.R.~
Family Companion, Non-Profit Mascot, In-Home Service Dog


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